Questions. No answers.

Just when you feel you've figured it out and reached a positive state of equilibrium, or perhaps the ability to deal with what you think may be coming your way, Life reminds you that it's not all that simple. You feel great in the morning, so much so, that you feel that your decision to go for a walk convinced the sun to come out, and then, you hear about something which makes your heart sink. Bottom line is - you can never be prepared for Life. Or, try to protect yourself from getting hurt or upset. The only way to achieve the latter would be to stop being vulnerable, to stop feeling for those you love or miss. Is this state of non- attachment or equanimity (in sadness and happiness) what we are really trying to achieve?

The 'Bombay Theme song' is playing on loop. It's peaceful and yet, sad. I started listening to it again after almost a decade and it feels as if the piece has become deeper and more profound now. I guess it engages with my mind in a different way now. Or perhaps, the mind has been exposed to a different range of sentiments over the last decade. I wonder if this piece is an expression of something A.R. Rahman experienced - it's too beautiful, pure and deep to not have any linkage to something real he experienced. The point is not anything at all.

The photograph posted below was taken at the Alfama Square in Lisbon. Lisbon had a strange beauty to it. Almost melancholic. Just like this tune which plays on and lingers in my mind even after it has stopped playing. A common sight in Lisbon was that of the older women "people-watching" from their balconies. I wonder if it's so entertaining or it's for lack of something better to do. If they knew I was writing about them, they may wonder the same thing about me. So, why judge? The point I am trying to make (or not make) is that when you feel you've turned a bit wiser or have become less sentimental, you suddenly begin to re-think it all and wonder whether you got it right at all.  

Old lady in Alfama, Lisbon

Old lady in Alfama, Lisbon

Next track, please.

Mann-ki-dala#1 - Lessons along the way

I'm done with colouring my first Mandala! :) i had a feeling it would lead me somewhere, though I wasn't exactly sure where (very much like Life!). However, I did learn a few things as I started filling in the colours: jotted down a few thoughts because I thought they made sense.

(i) As I started colouring, I wondered if I should decide the colours in advance. What if I made a mistake and it didn't look good?  Lesson#1: You cannot be prepared for everything; Do it anyways. 

(ii)  'Just follow your instincts - it's just a drawing!' I was surprised with the outcome as I started colouring as per my instincts. At first, a certain colour may not fit in, but as I filled in more and more of the blank spaces going with my intuition, the colours started matching. Lesson #2: What you do at any given point in time may not make complete sense (to others, or even you) at that point; Do it anyways.

(iii) While filling in the colours, I was grateful for the paper - the thickness and richness of it. It had already been subject to the pencil, pen marks, the eraser and now the colours. However, it withstood it all. Lesson#3: Not every paper you colour on can take it, find the variety that can take it! Very much like life, I thought - sometimes we are just not ready for certain experiences. it doesn't mean that the experience is wrong - neither the paper nor the colours. Just that combination at that time.


(iv) As I wondered what next - I thought about my bottle of turquoise ink sitting pretty in one corner. If not now - when? It was well worth every penny as the blue added that extra zing! Lesson#4: Some investments come in handy later. I always knew the blue ink did me good. My love for blue was revived again, this morning. 

(v) As I filled in more and more of the blank spaces, I was thankful that I had let the black ink outline settle in well.Lesson#5: Everything takes its own sweet time. Even time. As also, revelations.  It took two days to get to the stage of colouring the mandala and with certain other revelations, close to two years. Lesson#6: You will never know in advance how much time is enough. Life happens when you live it. Believe. Keep colouring. It's okay to change your mind. Go out there, experience the joy, sorrow and the pain. Sometimes you won't even know how to deal with the pain and the sorrow and it will take the genius of Murakami to draw home a point, to make you understand an experience (or a song from Ayo - Life is Real!).

(vi) When I wasn't sure about something, I would colour the easiest bits first. Sometimes its just easy to get the easy stuff done first. Lesson#7: Even the small steps help you walk on your path, even though slowly. As you keep walking, clarity comes anyways!

(vii) Almost done with it - what day is it today? The music on my playlist, the colours, my frame of mind - my understanding (or lack of it) time, space - everything makes sense. Lesson#8: All the time in this world is yours. Spend it wisely, doing things you love. Believe in the larger scheme of things and know that difficulties and doubts will arise and, also disappear provided you keep going on. Act with the best intentions and do what you must. That is the only thing you can do. There is no right or wrong. Respect the differences.